Mission: Founded in 1972, the vermont public interest research group
Programs: Energy and global warming solutions - vermonters know that we have a moral responsibility to protect our kids and grandkids from the environmental, economic, and social havoc that fossil fuels are wreaking. Vpiref agrees with the majority of vermonters who want to cut our dependence on fossil fuels and take control of our energy future using clean, renewable power. Vpiref conducts independent research, public education and grassroots outreach aimed at reducing our continued reliance on fossil fuels and other dirty energy, and instead dramatically increase the use of clean, local, renewable energy that can power a clean energy future for vermont. To that end, in 2014 vpiref helped organize two tours of the georgia mountain wind farm so over 100 vpiref members and hundreds of other vermonters could see, experience, and learn about the benefits of building our clean energy future. Vpiref organizers continue to work with members and the public throughout the year to fight back against opponents of clean energy by submitting letters to the editor, attending hearings and showing their support for local renewable energy as a vital and appropriate part of vermont's working landscape. Vpiref organizers also helped to generate thousands of public comments urging state regulators to deny a permit for a dangerous and unnecessary fracked gas pipeline. Vpiref's lawyer made a strong case against the pipeline in the public service board docket proceedings, bringing in expert witnesses and evidence demonstrating that the pipeline was costly and unnecessary. In lead up to the launch of the energy independent vermont campaign, vpiref commissioned an independent economic modeling firm to research our plan to put a price on carbon pollution. The results were clear: a tax on carbon pollution won't just reduce climate-roasting emissions, it will put money in vermonters' pockets by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and add thousands of jobs to the economy. Our campaign is now bringing the message to vermonters to build the case for holding polluters accountable by putting a price on carbon pollution and investing in a clean energy fund.
consumer protection - vpiref serves as a watchdog, protecting the public interest when corporations attempt to put profits over people, and ensures that the policies and laws aimed at protecting the public interest are in fact enforced. In 2014, after years of educational outreach conducted by vpiref and its partners, vermont became the first state to pass a law requiring gmo foods to be labeled. Despite broad public support, industry groups were quick to take legal action aimed at killing the l
democracy and fair elections - vpiref actively supports efforts to make our democracy more open and transparent. We also seek to ensure that elections are fair and balanced by reducing the undue influence of money in our political process. We continue to draw attention to the devastating impact of the disastrous supreme court verdict in citizens united and continue to watchdog the role of money in vermont politics. Over the summer, vpirg/vpiref staff knocked on over 80,000 doors across the state
other programs include work in the areas of environmental health, environment and zero waste, and health care reform. Environment and zero waste, and health care reform.